Home Theater Projectors $1000 to $2000 (Smart)

Posted on January 1, 2021 by Phil Jones

There are many projector options under $2000 that do a really great job on bright and average lit scenes, as good as many significantly more expensive projectors. But the differences on very dark scenes are where you start seeing the real difference. If a sharp picture is more important to you than achieving excellent black levels, you should be able to find a projector within this price range that could work for you.

ViewSonic X10-4KE


Projector Specs

Technology3 Chip DLP
Native Resolution3840x2160
Brightness (Manufacturer Claim)2400 Lumens
Zoom Lens Ratiofixed focal lens
Lens ShiftNo
Lamp Life30,000 Hours
Weight9 lbs.
Warranty3 Year Limited Warranty, 1 Year on Light Source + 1st Year Free Express Exchange® Service When Registered

Projector Overview

The ViewSonic X10-4KE takes the big screen experience, makes it portable, and gives it a handle. Add to that the 4K UHD resolution (3840 x 2160), short throw design and smart TV capabilities, you’ve got a highly versatile, portable home theater. The X10-4KE combines the very best of home entertainment and packages it into a super compact form, measuring just 10.3” wide, 10.7” deep, 6.5” tall, and weighing 9lbs.

This is a compact projector made even more portable by its handle. The projector is a sleek, matte gray with brown leather accents, making the X10-4KE look retro with a modern touch. That handle’s top is lined with a classy strip of leather, its color reminiscent of a briefcase from the late 60s. Even cooler, the inputs are hidden by a leather door that flaps down to reveal a simple connector panel that has everything you require for your home entertainment needs.

The ViewSonic X10-4KE has a 2,400 lumen claim, which is bright enough for most living rooms, media rooms, and family rooms with decent lighting control. This is not a bright room projector, but it is capable of handling a modest amount of ambient light without the picture being severely washed out.

Since this is a super portable projector, you may find yourself taking it outside for a movie night when the weather warms up! This ViewSonic has built-in Harman Kardon speakers for great onboard sound, or you can hook up your favorite Bluetooth speaker or sound bar.

The most notable features of this projector are:

  • Amazon Alexa + Google Assistant - The ViewSonic X10-4KE is compatible with both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Setup is simple. You create an account with the ViewSonic Remote App, then link your Alexa or Google Assistant account to use voice control functions.
  • Auto-Focus and Auto Keystoning -When you power on the projector, it automatically focuses and adjusts keystone so that your projected image is perfectly rectangular. This is particularly useful when the projector is set on a low surface, projecting upward.
  • On-Board Media Player - The on-board media player allows you to playback movies, images, music, and podcasts via a Micro SD card. You can also store these files using the File Management System, accessible via the Home Menu that appears when you power on the projector. The X10-4KE has 16gb of internal storage, so there’s plenty of room for you to store your favorite movies.
  • CFI - The ViewSonic X10-4KE has CFI – Creative Frame Interpolation – for Smooth Motion. This is popular for sports viewing, as it adds extra frames to make the image seem more lifelike.

In summary, the ViewSonic X10-4KE is a portable, 4K UHD resolution (3840 x 2160), short throw smart projector with a unique design, with a retro look, and a stylish handle. The projector is compatible with both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, and has a wide range of commands to make the projector all the more convenient. It is capable of pretty good color and bright enough to handle a pretty good amount of ambient light.



Projector Specs

Native Resolution3840x2160
Brightness (Manufacturer Claim)1500
Zoom Lens Ratio1.25:1
Lens ShiftNo
Lamp Life30,000 hours
Weight7.1 lbs
Warranty1 Year

Projector Overview

The LG HU70LA is an HDR compatible DLP home theater LED projector which utilizes a single DLP (0.47” DMD) chip to reproduce 4K UHD resolution (3,840 x 2,160). The HU70LA’s 4ch LED light engine is rated to deliver at 1,500 lumens for up to 30,000 hours.

The HU70LA is part of the LG CineBeam lineup of projectors which are designed to make front projection more accessible and appealing to a wider range of consumers. LG’s goal was to build a line of projectors that could replace a TV in an environment where a large TV just won’t fit.

Since the HU70LA is designed to serve as a TV replacement, it includes most of the features that consumers expect in a flat panel TV including a TV tuner, internal speakers, and of course smart features.

To make the HU70LA as Smart as possible, LG utilizes the same ThinQ AI webOS that is offered in their lineup of Smart flat panel TVs. Like their Smart TVs, the HL70LA can be voice controlled and offers a wide variety of apps. Since it is a DLP projector with a LED light engine, it also delivers years of the maintenance free operation like a flat panel.

The most notable features of this projector are:

  • 4 Channel LED Light Engine - Most Laser/LED projectors rely on phosphors to create green color elements and sometimes red (if it only has a blue lasers) but the LG HU70LA uses four LEDs to generate red, green, and blue, with an addition of a fourth blue LED to boost brightness, contrast, and generate more vivid colors.
  • 4K DLP - The HU70LA utilizes a Texas Instruments 2nd generation DLP (0.47” DMD) chip to reproduce perceived 4K UHD (3,840 x 2,160) resolution. It is “perceived” because a 4K DLP chip does not actually have 8.3 million mirrors, so the projector utilizes pixel (mirror) shifting to deliver the perceived sharpness of native 4K, which works very well.
  • Smart TV Features - The HU70LA utilizes the same ThinQ AI webOS that is found in LG’s current flat panel lineup. It’s a Smart projector made by a Smart TV manufacturer.
  • HDR10 with Auto Tone Mapping - The HDR provides a major improvement in dynamic range as well as color. It lets you see more detail in the shadows and the bright areas and delivers more saturated lifelike colors.

Great picture, smart features, and low maintenance make the HU70LA a compelling alternative to a large flat panel TV especially in room where space is at a premium.

We are seeing several really great Smart projectors being manufactured in the $1000 - $2000 category. Over the next few months, we will be reviewing several projectors that fall into this category. Our goal is to provide our readers with all the information needed to make an educated decision in this growing, and increasingly popular category.

Below is a list of Smart projector models between $1000 - $2000 that the Projector Reviews team is currently evaluating. Over the year, we will continue to update this section as the reviews are finalized.

BenQ X1300i

BenQ X1300i Gaming Projector

Projector Specs

Native Resolution1920x1080
Brightness (Manufacturer Claim)3000
Zoom Lens Ratio1.2x
Lens ShiftNo
Lamp Life20,000 hours
Weight14.1 lbs
Warranty3 Years

Award Winner

Highly Recommended

The combination of focusing on Gaming and Entertainment, including an excellent implementation of HDR and 3,000 lumens of LED-powered brightness, all packaged into an incredibly stylish form, all for a price of $1299, earns this projector a Highly Recommended award.

The X1300i is a gaming-optimized home entertainment projector packing a ton of powerhouse features. It is a 120Hz 4 LED PJ with a 3000 ANSI lumens rating, according to BenQ, and a 5,000,000:1 published contrast ratio. The X1300i LED light engine is rated for up to 20,000 hours of light engine life in its Normal (High Power) mode.

BenQ’s GameMaestro audio and video presets and the built-in sound system tuned by treVolo are standout features. This projector offers an amazing array of supercharged features and technology all geared to make your gaming experience more immersive, dynamic and enjoyable.

The X1300i, like other BenQ i-series projectors, comes with a BenQ HDMI smart stick offering full access to a wide range of Google Chromecast features, as well as the Android TV operating system.

Some of the most notable features of this projector are:

  • Optimized for Gaming — At the heart of this BenQ gaming experience is what BenQ calls GameMaestro Technology. BenQ GameMaestro Technology not only provides gamers low latency performance but also optimizes visual and audio settings for RPGs, Sports, Shooters and custom user EQ, with visual and audio adjustment presets. Game visuals display vibrant colors, while the audio you hear, tuned by treVolo-Bongiovi Digital Power Station (DPS), enhances music of all types for engaging auditory experiences.
  • LED Light Engine — The BenQ X1300i is a 4LED projector that adds an additional blue “pump” LED to the 3LED ecosystem, whose light is also converted to green via the ceramic phosphor medium in order to amplify the overall output of green light. By adding this separate light, the output of green light is increased by 40%, which in turn leads to an 8% to 12% increase in overall brightness when compared to a 3LED projector. This type of design also helps keep the surface area of the original three LEDs unchanged, thereby avoiding both the need to significantly increase the projector size to accommodate larger LEDs and the additional heating that would be produced by those LEDs, which would otherwise affect the LED’s lifespan.
  • Android TV OS — The BenQ HDMI smart stick comes with the Android TV operating system, providing access to over 5000 Android TV-dedicated applications through the Google Play App Store.
  • Chromecast Wireless Sharing — The BenQ X1300i streaming stick comes with Chromecast Built-in. Cast your favorite entertainment: movies and TV shows, music, games, sports, photos, videos and more from your Android or iOS device, Mac or Windows computer, or Chromebook to your projector — all without needing to purchase a TV stick. With a compatible Apple device, the X1300i’s media adaptor also supports AirPlay, enabling you to stream to your projector or share your photos with everyone in the room.
  • Google Assistant — Android TV with Google Assistant functionality allows you to easily search and watch movies, stream apps and play games. You can even questions and see answers from Google on the big screen.
  • HDR — BenQ integrates software and hardware technologies together in order to present an authentic HDR (High Dynamic Range) image with more detail and better picture quality than non-HDR systems.
  • 98% of Rec.709 Color Accuracy — Wide color gamut is crucial for HDR; therefore, BenQ developed its own Cinematic Color Management technology. It not only matches the wide color space set by the film industry, but also provides an exclusive, dedicated, manual calibration mechanism to present images with accurate color, saturation, brightness, and color temperature. Coverage reaches about 98% Rec. 709 color gamut, and even meets the requirements of DCI-P3 cinematic wide color gamut.
  • Auto Keystone Correction — Many projectors at this price point only offer Vertical Keystone correction. The X1300i is equipped with 2D Keystone correction with a range of ±30°. The two-dimensional Keystone feature dramatically reduces the trapezoid effect, which occurs when a projector is installed off-center.
  • 3D — The BenQ X1300i features a 3D function that allows you to enjoy 3D movies, videos, sporting events and games in a more realistic way by adding depth to the image when you are wearing a pair of optional, compatible, 3D glasses.

While there are other smart projectors on the market, the X1300i stands out from the crowd with its focus on elevating the quality of home entertainment content and blowing the doors off of other projectors’ “game” mode, including some of their own.

With its long lasting, bright 4LED phosphor light source, high contrast ratio, low-maintenance design, and dedicated Gaming and Entertainment sound and video treVolo-tuned Bongiovi Audio DPS technology, the X1300i would be a great choice for those considering buying an all-around entertainment projector. The BenQ is an excellent solution for your home entertainment needs.

© 2023 Projector Reviews

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